SOLVED: Recording output from stereo instrument outputs (L/R) to mono audio tracks?

Edit: go to solution at the bottom of this post.

Hi guys,

I’m building a new production template and I’ve run into a bit of a snag. I’m using virtual drums (in Kontakt instruments typically) and use multiple outputs from each instrument instance to separate the various mics for processing back in Cubase. So separate kick, snare, toms, etc. Since the instrument outputs are all stereo pairs (1/2, 3/4, etc.) I pan the mono signals (kick, snare top, snare bottom, etc.) hard left/right into their respective (stereo) instrument outputs. The issue I’m having is being able to record those mono signals (panned hard left/right in the stereo instrument outputs) onto mono audio tracks - so a mono audio track for the kick close mic, mono audio track for snare top, mono audio track for snare bottom, etc. (overheads and rooms are stereo of course)

The first thing I tried is to create a bunch of stereo group tracks, to which I would individually route the instrument’s many stereo outputs, then use those group tracks as inputs to the mono audio tracks - where I would just choose the left or right channel as input to the mono audio track as appropriate (as you can do with physical stereo audio inputs to mono audio tracks). But nope, the stereo group tracks were not available to choose as inputs to the mono audio tracks. :sob:

In the past I’ve done basically the same thing, but the instruments were hosted on a separate slave computer for hosting samples and there were physical audio outputs from that computer back to Cubase, so choosing left/right sides of a stereo signal as input into a mono audio track was easy peasy. Now I’m attempting to host samples on the same computer with Cubase :crossed_fingers: so things are slightly different. …but routing what are effectively mono signals in an instrument into mono audio tracks in Cubase should be fairly straightforward, right? There’s gotta be a way…

I’ve searched a bit on this topic but haven’t found this particular issue raised/solved. If there’s a thread/post, YouTube video, etc. that discusses this, please linky-link!

Many thanks in advance!



Solution! So svennilenni suggested using sends - so I did, and got something that works. Here’s a rundown of my working setup:

  1. Create an instrument track containing the virtual drums instrument with many (stereo) outputs enabled.
  2. In the virtual drums instrument, mono sources (kick close, snare top, snare bottom, etc.) are panned hard left/right in their outputs so one stereo output from the plugin can contain the audio output from two separate mono sources.
  3. Create a mono group channel track for each mono signal and a stereo group channel track for each stereo signal (like overheads). Set the output for these group channel tracks to “No bus” since we’ll be using them as inputs to audio tracks.
  4. Route the audio from the instrument’s multi-outputs to these group channel tracks. For the stereo sources, just set the instrument audio outputs to the corresponding stereo group channel tracks. For the mono sources packaged within the instrument’s stereo outputs, we’ll use two sends on each - one for the mono signal on the left side and one for the mono signal on the right, with the panner used to select which side goes out. For example, if you’ve got a stereo output from the instrument with snare top on the left and snare bottom on the right, create two sends: one going to the snare top group panned hard left and one going to the snare bottom group panned hard right.
  5. Finally, create as many audio tracks as you need to capture the instrument outputs (mono for the mono sources and stereo for the stereo ones) and set their inputs to be the group channel tracks. You’ll probably want to turn on input monitoring and do some solo defeating for many parts of the signal path from the instrument to your speakers to ensure you get audio flowing as you expect (and as you solo things, etc.), especially if you’re driving the instrument with one or more separate MIDI tracks.

I hope this is helpful!



If I understand your scenario, what I would do… I would use the StereoEnhancer plug-in (as the very 1st Insert) on every single Audio Return Channel, and enable Mono on it. Then you even don’t have to hard pan the source in NI Kontakt, and you will get a proper Mono signal at every single Audio Return Channel.

Does this help?

You can do it with sends. Convoluted, but does what you want.

Thanks for the responses, guys. I was going to try using sends next - probably sending to mono group channels which can be used as inputs to the audio tracks. I’m not sure what will happen w/ panning/selecting of the stereo signal but will find out… I’ll report back when I get something working (assuming I do) - at the day job now…


Just use the send panning. Two sends from one track - one send pan right to one group one left to the other group.

Thanks svennilenni. So I guess the pan control on a send for a stereo track sending to a mono bus (group) determines how much of each channel contributes to the mono signal. So pan control in the center for that scenario results in L and R summed I suppose? Interesting. I’ll give it a shot!


Aaaannnd… it worked! Thanks for the tip svennilenni. I’ll update my original post w/ the info (assuming I’m allowed to do so). :thumbsup: